Written below is the introduction to Tom Gorman's book, "Multipreneuring". I read the introduction last night and couldn't help but smile as so many resounding events have transpired over the past forty plus days that I've been resigned from McCann.
Before you move on to read, allow me to give you an idea of what I've "bumped into" in the past forty days since resignation:
-a week after resignation, a call for an interview from McCann's rival media independent agency
-other job offers (2)
-meetings to discuss possible marketing consultancies (10)
-meetings to discuss partnerships in advertising related ventures (7)
-meetings to discuss partnerships in non-advertising related ventures (5)
-offers for participation in start-up companies (4)
As you go through the paragraphs below, you will know why I've been smiling all along as I read the intro for the nth time last night....
Imagine if you will, that you are not independently wealthy, but that you are certain of your ability to generate a high income. Imagine that you can leave your current employer or line of work, even leave your current industry, and continue earning this income as you move on to a new situation. Imagine that you have total confidence in your ability to locate and even create income-generating situations. Imagine that you are contacted regularly by people who want to hire you, but you often turn them down because they cannot afford you or you are too busy to take on new assignments.
Now imagine that you are never bored with your work. Instead you are excited by the economic opportunity you see everywhere. You wake up in the morning energized by the possibilities you see around you. You are an opportunity seeker and a creator of value. You are a profitable economic entity, taking inputs, working with them, and getting results such that people know in their hearts that you are worth every penny they pay you.
Imagine that you have moved beyond the cycle of employment, unemployment, job searches, and employment. You have moved beyond the adolescent corporate rituals of recruitment/indoctrination and membership/betrayal/ostracism. Instead your work-life consists of open, mature, adult-adult business relationships founded upon mutual need and value for value.
Imagine the accompanying sense of self-respect. Imagine saying to the next person who tries to flummox or exploit you, “Frankly, I don't see that as fair, and I'm disappointed that you would suggest it”, and imagine that you are telling them this, not as you are walking out the door, not as they hand you your final check, not after you've given them ten years of your time and talent, but rather as you sit across from them the very first time they try to flummox or exploit you, And imagine that they respect you for telling them this as you move on to address the next topic of discussion.
If you cannot imagine any of this, you are reading the right book. If you can only imagine this, you are reading the right book. Because multipreneuring can make this imagined state of affairs a reality for you. All it takes on your part is a willingness to face reality and a deep desire to change.
Others have done it, and their experiences are the essence of this book. Years of secondary research, scores of formal interviews, hundreds of informal conversations, and two decades of my own experience have demonstrated that the multipreneurial approach to career management can be learned. There has never been a better time to start learning it. And, like it or not, an approach like this has become a necessity in the radically changed workplace of today and tomorrow.
This is a book about how to manage your career in a way that will work for you in the newly restructured corporate world. Life in the managerial and professional ranks has undergone true structural change. The social contract between employer and employee has changed. The skills that you need in order to get a job have changed. Even the idea of what "to get a job" means has changed, and so has the attitude and the very identity that you must bring to the work place. I call this attitude the multipreneurial attitude and this identity that of the multipreneur.
What is multipreneuring? It begins with the idea that each of us is an economic unit. So each of us-as either internal staff or external contractor-must add value to our work in excess of the amount we are paid. Our economy will be in flux for years to come, so each of us must develop and sell a portfolio of high-level skills useful in generating revenue, cutting costs, or improving processes in a variety of settings. That is multipreneuring. Companies are fostering new ways of getting work done-telecommuting, job sharing, and outsourcing-and are forming strategic alliances that result in virtual, modular, and networked corporations. So we must adapt to new ways of working and managing. That is multipreneuring. And since companies are becoming too flat to offer traditional paths to advancement and are relinquishing the role of provider of social goods in fat benefit plans, each of us must develop the flexibility, maturity, discipline, and courage to create our own career path and to become our own benefits managers. That is multipreneuring.
I've coined the word "multipreneuring" from the Latin multi meaning "many" or "more than one" and the English word "entrepreneur," which stems from the French verb entreprendre, which means to undertake." So multipreneuring literally means "more than one undertaking." The play on the word "entrepreneur" is obvious: to succeed in business today, and even in many non-business fields, you have to be something of an entrepreneur, that is "one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business enterprise." This is largely what multipteneurs do. They organize their resources, manage their careers, and assume sensible risks. But multipreneuring entails more than just acting entrepreneurially.
Multipreneuring entails actually having multiple skills, so that you can develop multiple sources of income and multiple careers, either simultaneously or serially. Multipreneuring enables you to manage risks financial risks, professional risks, emotional risks, and creative risks-rather than deny them or be disabled by them. Multipreneuring represents a continual process of learning new skills, new strategies, new fields, new businesses, and new markets and of developing new contacts, customers, and friends. Essentially, multipreneuring entails understanding the principles and practices that will enable you to prosper in times of massive economic change, like, for example, the times we live in now.
To become a multipreneur you must realize that your economic value depends upon your ability to make or save money for others and your ability to add value to processes. Your economic value will not depend upon your position, seniority, or connections. You must therefore train yourself to see opportunities where others see problems, dislocations, and barriers. You must choose your assignments on the basis of the skills you can learn as well as those you can apply. You must develop your interpersonal and technological skills to a high level so that you can make things happen rather than hope they will happen.
You must grasp the truest nature of what it means to live in a free country that is moving from corporate feudalism to individual capitalism. The new factors of production-knowledge and technology are available on an almost laughably open basis. Access to distribution channels and even to funding is openly available. It is all there for you to take and use to express your concept of how it should he done in the marketplace. What "it" is depends entirely upon you.
In this book you will meet people who are multipreneurs. They are positive examples of how to achieve business success today. Some have left long term corporate life-either walking or feet first-and have found a new way of working. Others never really labored in the corporate vineyard, at least as full-time employees, for-any length of time. They are not traditional freelancers, although some of them (like myself) have freelanced. They are not traditional entrepreneurs, although many of them have started and operated businesses. They are among the fleet of foot in today's economy (in fact, one multipreneur founded a chain of athletic shoe stores called Fleet Feet). They are among the most flexible, creative, successful careerists in the country.
I know that these are difficult times for many people, including many who never dreamed that their careers could fall into such seeming disarray or end so unceremoniously. Many people never thought that downward mobility could lie so close at hand. But if you have a decent education, or access to one, and work experience, wherever you acquired it, you have the ability to become a multipreneur. If you have been truly privileged and hold an undergraduate and perhaps a graduate degree, have significant work experience, and possess analytical, technical, and interpersonal skills, then you are extremely well positioned to become a multipreneur.
This is a threatening time for those who lack the right career management approach. But with this book you will learn how to develop an approach that will make this a time of opportunity, a time to achieve high levels of function, income, and independence. In this book you will learn how some of the most successful and agile businesspeople in our economy have prospered despite the chaotic career conditions around us. With this book you will, in your own way, learn to become a multipreneur.
What have I to say? Tom Gorman, YOU ARE A GENIUS!
Lloyd Tronco is an Artist/Writer/Entrepreneur. Forever shuttling between Bacolod and Manila and other places in between.